In Ryan Wilson’s latest mock draft for CBS Sports, the Falcons swap with the Panthers – who catch their next franchise quarterback – and take on tight end Florida superstar Kyle Pitts with eighth pick in the franchise. total.
New model project of @ryanwilsonCBS
1. QB T. Lawrence (JAX)
2. QB Z. Wilson (NYJ)
3. OL P. Sewell (CIN) *
4. QB J. Fields (CAR) *
5. WR J. Chase (MIA) *
6. OL R. Slater (PHI)
7. WR J. Waddle (DET)
8. TE K. Pitts (ATL) *
9. LB M. Parsons (DEN)
10. QB T. Lance (SF) *
* Via simulated operations pic.twitter.com/gYE9Bilk6n
– CBS Sports Headquarters (@CBSSportsHQ) February 22, 2021
A move like this makes a lot of sense. With Matt Ryan slated to be the starting quarterback for at least this season and possibly another after that, it looks like the Falcons could be going down in the draft and collecting more picks.
As Alex mentioned last week, now that Philadelphia has left Carson Wentz, many believe they might be in the market for another quarterback. Adam Schefter even reported that Jalen Hurts is not guaranteed to be the starter next year.
– NFL Statistics (@NFL_Stats) February 21, 2021
This is great news for the Falcons. Anyone who wants their pick of the litter – when it comes to quarterbacks – will want to get ahead of Philadelphia and should call the Falcons, who may also be looking for their franchise quarterback.
In that scenario, coming back with Carolina likely gives the Falcons a future first-round pick and more. However, what I find most unlikely about this simulation is that the Panthers and Falcons would trade with each other. It’s much more likely that Atlanta will strike a deal with another team – one that’s not in their division.
Despite that, gaining a little more draft capital and still landing Kyle Pitts would be a slam dunk. Pitts is arguably the best player in a skillful position in this draft and would add an entirely different wrinkle to Arthur Smith’s offense. This from Alex’s profile project on Pitts:
Pitts is potion free. He can line up on the boundary, in the slot, or with his hand in the dirt. He’s as good a road runner as any catcher in this project with a big explosion from his break, giving him elite turn-changing skills for someone his size. Pitts is as good after the catch as ever, a rare and huge red zone threat. Great for beating the individual press, but also great for finding the weak spot in areas. The former Gator, just like Julio Jones, made normal 50-50 balls, closer to 60-40 in favor of Pitts.
I wouldn’t be disappointed if the Falcons held on with the fourth pick and selected Pitts; he has so much talent. Adding him to a skill group of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst, and Russell Gage would perhaps provide Matt Ryan with the best weapons of his career, which says a lot. Sprinkle Arthur Smith in there, and the Falcons could finally replicate their 2016 success under Kyle Shanahan.